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Glenn Beck is wrong

So Glenn Beck tells Christians to leave churches if they mention any sort of social justice.

While I am not a big fan of liberal churches that merely substitutes the gospel with messages of social justice, Glenn Beck is proving he is no master of nuance or careful argument. I can’t blame him for doing it probably sells books. Perhaps he is like me concerned about Christian relying too much on government as the means to dispense this justice or maybe a Reformed Christ-centered hermeneutic? Nope,his statements are far too categorical here. I won’t pretend Glenn Beck actually cares about that stuff. But he’s definitely wrong here, churches should be preaching social justice, but very carefully in that. He can’t pretend the Bible doesn’t speak anything of social justice, especially with the Minor Prophets admonishing people for being insensitive to the needs of the “widows, the poor and the sick”.

Take a look at Psalm 82:

82:1 God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
7 nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.” 
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations!

Now gods (lowercase) are the judges of this earth, those who are failing to fully reflect the justice that is God’s character. This is the position that we all seem to share in our own imperfections. These people are ultimately called out for failing to address these injustices on Earth. The final verse calls for God to ultimately bring justice; justice that Christians believe came in the form of Jesus Christ. We know we are supposed to attack injustices because Christ demonstrated this to us by the work of the cross. Ultimately, we are supposed to be not only aware of the physical poverty of others but our own spiritual brokenness; the very brokenness that is the cause of injustice.

As much as Beck is afraid of the Christian faith becoming meaningless if it becomes too liberalized, I can say the same about a Christian faith about one that doesn’t embrace social justice. We are called to do justice, not because of our own just natures, but because justice was (or wasn’t) given to all of us: the punishment we rightly deserved taken by someone innocent of blame.

This was the move that is slowly unwinding the cycle of injustice. Christians are called to unravel injustice, by taking up our own crosses each and every day. Sorry Mr. Beck but you are woefully incorrect. You keep talking like this there will be more news stories like this……

Jeremiah 22:15-16

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  1. Dan
    March 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    well said. i’d say glenn beck is stupid but clearly he is making good money doing what he is doing so i guess he’s not 😛 regardless, i dont like him at all (more than palin 😉 )

  2. Kevin
    March 15, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Good Post, BDK.

    You are right to point out that Liberals tend to trivialize the importance of spiritual reconciliation to God in their pursuit of the tangible ends of “Social Justice”. Conversely, Conservative evangelicals tend to myopically give primacy to “spiritual salvation,” often disregarding the systemic injustices that abound. The Jesuit response to this conflict is Cura Personalis, the call to “care for the entire person”, because spiritual, physical and emotional needs of an individual are inexorably linked.

    Regarding Beck, I would be interested in understanding what the source of his criticism of “social justice” is. Does he really believe that it is synonymous with “communism” or does he espouse that simply for shock value?

    • March 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      Agreed Kevin. Although I would say perhaps Conservative Christians don’t just disregard systematic injustices that abound, perhaps the media likes to portray any Christian from the South in that way, but the numbers and the type of generosity that is displayed is not to be disregarded. Most of these people don’t spend their time at abortion clinics or gay rights marches, no matter how much the media wants them to. I do think though nonetheless the emphasis can still be a bit “myopic”, at times, but not to the extent that Christians take a “Beck”-like view either. Ex:

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html

      As for beck, I think he knows what sells and after his move to Fox, this was sort of a double-whammy confirmation of lets just tow the crazy conservative line for the best viewership.

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